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States Opposing Clean Power Plan Win Victory

Louisiana is among 29 states which filed a lawsuit against the federal government, saying new environmental regulations are too extensive and costly.

The Supreme Court took the side of the opposing states by issuing a "stay" against the Environmental Protection Agency’s new mandates on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The states say those requirements are too hard to meet and will be bad for industry and jobs.

The new laws would require greatly reduced emissions by 2022.

Robert Verchick, Chair of Environmental Law at Loyola University, says the Clean Power Plan encourages investment in clean energy, like wind and solar.

“Those things were probably all going to happen anyway because the market is headed in that direction.” Verchick says, “but if the Clean Power Plan were in effect, Louisiana would be required to develop a plan.” For now, the state doesn’t have to develop that plan.

Verchick says the Supreme Court’s statement was brief and it’s not clear what part of the Clean Power Plan it takes issue with. A federal appeals court will ultimately decide whether the rules are legal, and that could take a while.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a statement celebrating the court’s action, saying the plan would result in utilities increases and would cost billions of dollars to implement.

Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Coypu Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. 

Tegan has reported on the coast for WWNO since 2015. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone, with a focus on solutions and the human dimensions of climate change. Her reporting has been aired nationally on Planet Money, Reveal, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, BBC, CBC and other outlets. She’s a recipient of the Pulitzer Connected Coastlines grant, CUNY Resilience Fellowship, Metcalf Fellowship, and countless national and regional awards.

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